Caught an article earlier this afternoon by Danny Rubin, titled ’25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25′. The article outlines several technological or psychological principles you should have learned, or should be learning as a developing person. As with most articles, there were bits I completely disregarded, some I felt true, but one, #2, ‘The only failure in your 20s is inaction. Everything else is trial and error’, really stuck in my head. As with many gearheads, I started at a young age doing small bolt-ons, depending mostly on questionable-at-best forum resources to push my abilities further and further.
There’s a lot that can lead to discouragement when you’re looking at the overbearing task of transforming your project into your street or track dream. Money, resources, worrying about being thorough and doing the job right, time, tools; there are dozens of things that actively pressure us to prevent the projects from moving forward. Some of these things we can’t really change. After purchasing my most recent project, it sat through the winter because I wouldn’t spend the money to purchase space heaters in the garage, saying I would hit it hard when it got warm. Then in February, I got called out to work out of state for what ended up being the better part of two months, completely unable to keep working even if I had all of the time and energy ready to go. I flew back on some weekends, but the compressor seal went on my daily driver, so my weekends were mostly devoted to pulling all the intercooler piping, cleaning everything that was now slobbered in oil, and rebuilding the blower, all so I’d have something I’d be able to drive again once I would be working back in my home state.
There can be a lot of things that push our projects further and further on the back burner that happen out of pure circumstance. This is in a large part why you see so many unfinished projects for sale. The sheer, undeniable gravity of forging ahead when coupled with circumstance and real life can ultimately question what was once your passion and almost nearly turn it into a burden; so you slap a For Sale sign on it, and move on with your life.
However, I feel that more often than not, these barriers we set up for ourselves can be easy to overcome with the right motivation. Even after years of being involved in modifying cars for the street and track, there are times when I feel downright overwhelmed with the projects I undertake. I spend time several nights a week, just staring at the project I purchased over the winter, dumbfounded by the amount of effort and time that must be left to feel any pride or adrenaline out of it. So I say ‘tomorrow‘, close the door, and wait for the right motivation to keep pressing on. For me, surrounding myself with similar-minded people has always been a fuel to my motivation. Friends from out of town coming to visit? Better get the timing right or button up the exhaust so I can fire it up for them. Being in the garage with a handful of beers and similar-minded friends can make even the most insurmountable tasks seem minuscule, leaving to ask yourself ‘Why didn’t I do this three weeks ago?’. Regardless of how inexperienced you may be, don’t let your projects overwhelm you, no matter what it is or what you need to do. Go for it. If you’re nervous, or inexperienced, take the time to learn about what you’re trying to do. More often than not, people have done what you’re trying to do before, and have some form of guidance to help you on your way. Even if your project really is one-of-a-kind, the root principles in building cars still all apply. Learn from your mistakes. You’re bound to make them. Don’t let them discourage you, these things can and will happen. It’s important to realize that some of the reasons you’re not progressing on your projects can be preventable. Just remember, the only failure is inaction. Everything else is trial and error.
Link to ’25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25′: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danny-rubin/25-things-every-young-pro_b_3272145.html